Sale (14-4) gave up two runs on six hits and three walks with just four strikeouts over six innings in Thursday's loss to the Cubs.
Aside from the unusual lack of whiffs -- his second-lowest total of the year -- Sale was effective in his return from his jersey-destruction suspension, but he got narrowly outpitched by John Lackey. His relationship with the White Sox is clearly frayed; with the MLB trade deadline coming up and the team under .500, it's entirely possible that this could end up being Sale's last start with the team that drafted him 13th overall in 2010.
As expected, Sale will return to the active roster after serving his team-imposed five-game suspension. Sale will start Thursday's series finale against the Cubs, while the club opted to send Wednesday's starter, Anthony Ranaudo, to Triple-A Charlotte.
The White Sox announced that Sale would serve a five-game suspension stemming from a clubhouse incident prior to Saturday's game against the Tigers. "Chris has been suspended for violating team rules, for insubordination and for destroying team equipment," GM Rick Hahn said in the team's official statement. "While we all appreciate Chris' talent and passion, there is a correct way and an incorrect way to express concerns about team rules and organizational expectations."
Sale's insubordinate behavior was reportedly related to his dissatisfaction with the throwback jerseys the White Sox were scheduled to wear for Saturday's game. The left-hander felt the jersey made him uncomfortable while pitching, and he demonstrated his disdain for the apparel by destroying multiple jerseys with a knife during the White Sox's scheduled batting practice. Sale's actions prompted the team to scratch him from his scheduled start and send him home for the day, and as of Sunday, he still has yet to rejoin the team, according to Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. Manager Robin Ventura wouldn't comment on the specifics of Saturday's incident, but did say he was optimistic about Sale and the organization making amends. Sale's five-game suspension will be retroactive to Saturday, so he's expected to be back in time to make his next turn in the rotation Thursday against the Cubs. The White Sox recalled Anthony Ranaudo from Triple-A Charlotte to take Sale's spot on the roster while he's under suspension, but Ranaudo will presumably head back to the minors once Sale is activated prior to Thursday's game.
Sale had been scheduled to start this past Saturday against the Tigers, but was scratched hours before game time due to what the White Sox deemed as a "non-physical clubhouse incident." It was later revealed that Sale had taken issue with the throwback uniforms the White Sox were set to wear for Saturday's game, and his dissatisfaction boiled over to the point that management decided it was best to send him home for the day. It's likely that the White Sox will address the Sale situation in-house within the next few days, but assuming that both the pitcher and the team are able to patch things up, he should be back on the mound for one final audition for potential suitors before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline.
In an official statement, the White Sox said Sale was scratched from Saturday's start following a "clubhouse incident," but they did not provide any details beyond mentioning that it was non-physical. Apparently, Sale felt the throwbacks were uncomfortable and was upset that he didn't get to pick the uniforms for his start (as starters typically do), and so he took a knife to all of the jerseys during batting practice. It's a bizarre story, and it's uncertain if Sale will ever toe the rubber again for the White Sox as his name has been mentioned frequently in trade rumors.
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